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Hot cross bun macarons with buttercream icing

It wouldn’t be Easter without hot cross buns, but how about a fresh take on this classic with hot cross bun macarons and buttercream icing?

MAKES 20 // COOKING TIME 1 hour 30 min

For the hot cross bun macarons
125 g icing sugar
125 g ground almonds
2 tsp cinnamo
¼ tsp nutmeg
90 ml egg whites
110 g caster sugar
For the royal icing
1 egg white
25 g icing sugar
For the buttercream icing
200 g butter
400 g icing sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp cinnamon

For the hot cross bun macarons
1. Preheat oven to 170°C and line 2 large baking trays.
2. Sift together icing sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Add 40 ml egg whites and mix to form a paste.
4. Place ¼ cup water and the caster sugar in a small pot over a low heat.
5. Allow the sugar to dissolve, then bring to the boil until the syrup reaches 110°C.
6. At this point, start mixing the rest of the egg whites on high speed in a stand mixer.
7. Once the egg whites are stiff and the syrup has reached about 115°C, slowly pour the syrup into the egg whites, while beating.
8. Continue beating until the mixture has cooled, and the whites are stiff and shiny.
9. Fold a third of the meringue into the paste to loosen it.
10. Fold in the rest of the meringue carefully, trying not to beat too much air out.
11. Spoon into a piping bag. Snip a 4 mm opening in the piping bag and, holding the bag vertically, pipe 3 cm rounds on to the baking paper.
12. The mixture should be loose enough that it spreads out a little. Once the macarons are all piped, drop the tray lightly on to the work surface a few times to smooth them out.
13. Leave to stand for about 30 minutes until the macarons form a skin.
14. Bake for 13–15 minutes, until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before icing.
For the royal icing
1. Whisk the egg white until foamy.
2. Slowly add the icing sugar while whisking.
3. When the icing is thick enough to pipe and hold its shape, pipe crosses on to the tops of half of the baked macarons.
For the buttercream icing
1. Beat the butter until pale and fluffy.
2. Slowly add icing sugar while continuously beating. The icing is ready when the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the orange zest and cinnamon, then beat to combine.
3. Sandwich 2 macaron halves together with a squeeze of icing between them.
4. Refrigerate for up to a week.

Recipe & styling: Diane Heierli
Photography: Christoph Heierli

If you love this Easter-themed treat, you’ll love this hot cross bun milk tart too!

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